Monthly Archives: May 2013

Blue Belt Promotion

Last night was a great training session of Shotokan Karate Do. We worked on perfecting an adaptive version of Kata Heian Shodan. We also broke out punching bags to work on combinations. At the end of class I was called to the front for what I thought was going to be a kata demonstration. To my surprise it was to be promoted to Blue belt. Woot!



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Sunrise Love

Sunrise Medical, the makers of my Quickie wheelchair continue to extend the most wonderful support. I received a care package from them and it had really cool stuff. Its like I got a public speaking starter kit!! So stoked and thankful. I’m excited to rock some Quickie love! – Aloha

QUICKIE Live without limits


Cat with Nine Lives..

Lately I’ve almost fallen out of my wheelchair a few times and I almost ate it again today! I was talking to a wonderful lady while waiting for my ride. She reached out to shake hands but was a little too far away. I almost dove off the front of my chair lol. But she damseled my distress by giving me just enough support while we shook hands for me to scramble backwards into my chair. We laughed so hard then she came in for a hug. Dang I feel like a cat with nine lives with all these near falls!! 😛
The first time I flipped over I decided to go to therapy and work on flipping over and climbing back into chair. At first the therapists thought I was unhinged in asking for a potentially dangerous scenario that is always encouraged to avoid, not prepare for. And also in that I am a quadriplegic and this strenuous activity is technically far out of my ability. But I was determined and in a couple short months I developed this technique and proved everyone wrong. I remember what broke the barrier for me was I had to stop focusing on technique and just look at my chair like a tree and climb it!

Waikiki Comedy Show, Karate Prevents a Fall from Wheelchair!

Holy moly I had so much fun last night! I went to the Waikiki Outrigger Hotel to see a Comedy Show with local comics Augie T. and Andy Bumatai. The comedy show was great! I also charged it transversing Waikiki. When I came across stairs, I just spun around and charge down backwards with some help from a friend. I found an escalator to try going down but it turned to be too narrow, not ADA haha. At the end of the night I caught the elevator to the upper level of the parking structure and wheelchair surfed, zig zagging down the drive to the car.  On a flat portion of cement, a friend and I practiced moshing moves for the upcoming Deftones concert this week. We interlocked arms and did the Celtic Punk spin. It was badazz!!

Also it was very cool to make use of my Shotokan Karate skills today. While transferring out of car to chair and rolling away, I reached back behind me to shut the car door and I misjudged its weight. I lost my balance and went diving sideways over my tire, I was going down! But I was able to tighten my trunk a little and rely on reflexes to grab onto my chair and regain balance to avoid falling. Cobra…wait for it..Kai…Dojo!! 🙂 – Aloha

At the Comedy Show with Augie T.

At the Comedy Show with Augie T.

Wheelchair Shotokan Karate Training

Today I had a killer Shotokan training session. My arm muscles and trunk burned it was such a great workout! My Sensei helps me adapt the art for wheelchair use. We collaborate on techniques that accommodate my level of injury. I am paralyzed from the chest down from a C6 spinal cord injury.

We worked on several punching and blocking techniques. I mimic kicking with arm movements. Some chair users substitute wheelies for kicks. I also worked on a kata today. Its exciting to dial in the art with snappy turns and tight stops and pushes, with quick turning too. Projecting your strength into your movements is very fulfilling and has made me much stronger and more able bodied.

I’m very excited to be a part of adapting arts (I do Ki Aikido also), and hope to share it with others in my demographic.



School Guest Speaker

Yesterday I had the amazing opportunity to speak at a middle school here in Hawaii. I shared my story with 8th graders and explained how drive and passion for life can push our boundaries to make the most of ourselves. I also touched on how important it is to establish a strong sense of community and how in life we are always a part of a whole.

The students were attentive and very interactive with great questions! All in all the message was well received. They were able to relate it to their own lives very well. Yay, success!!

After speaking we had great one on one time. Students approached me for handshakes and photos. I was very much inspired by each and every student as well. Its so exciting to see the future of tomorrow!



Deftones in Hawaii!!

Yay!! The day has come when I will finally get to see one of my favorite bands play live. I originally learned about the Deftones in the late nineties while shopping in a grocery store in Kona on the Big Island. I was in the magazine section and as it turned out, the late Chi Cheng’s family was vacationing and also shopping in this store. Chi’s sister Mae was looking thru magazines for an article on her brothers band. We chatted briefly and she told me about Deftones and how they were on tour in Europe. It was on her recommendation that I went out and bought Around the Fur and I’ve been a fan ever since! In these recent years I’ve become dear friends with their wonderful mother Jeanne Cheng.

Deftones will be playing here on Oahu at The Republik on June 2nd, 2013. It’s going to be SIC!!! I’m hoping to do some crowd surfing in my chair !!



EmployAble Pilot Study, Yay!!!

I was invited by Going Home Plus to participate in the EmployAble Pilot Study. EmployAble is a model Virtual Employment Orientation, Training, Resource and Support Center. It is funded by the Kessler Foundation and has been developed by the Center on Disability Studies at the University of Hawaii. Securing employment post injury can often be a barrier to independence. This study will produce a format to follow providing another lane to the superhighway of fast tracking newly injured and disabled through transitioning to independent living. It’s so exciting to be working with Going Home and how proactive they are to this focus. I’m also proud to help tomorrows disabled have more opportunities at a better way of life. Be on the lookout, we have a few other amazing pilot programs developing in the near future.


Good Friends to Laugh With is a Must!

I was talking with a friend earlier about a helicopter that crash landed safely a week ago here in Hawaii. Now me and this friend have done everything together from  jumping out of planes to partying at apartments with stripper poles in it and my friend say’s to me, “You should’ve been flying that chopper. That way we can cross crash landing a helicopter off the bucket list.” It’s funny that despite my being a wheelchair user I was nominated to be the hero pilot  in this imaginary scenario and also being the thrill seekers we both are, we both had no doubt that we could crash land a helicopter successfully.  We even knew what restaurant we’d eat at after LOL!! Its funny too how sometimes the funniest things don’t always transcribe later to be nearly as funny as they were in the moment haha. And its even funnier how high the bar has gotten at our bucket lists!! Nevertheless, having good friends and family that you can laugh hard and be yourself with is such a wonderful thing. Aloha

Public Speaking, Sunrise Medical, Spinergy Wheels and more!

Exciting events coming up in the near future… I got my first speaking gig! I was invited to speak at an intermediate school this week on harnessing your drive and passion to make the most of life. I’m so excited and thankful to be given the opportunity. I was invited to speak at the beginning of the school year too.

Yesterday, I received an amazing call from a director at Sunrise Medical, the manufactures of the Quickie wheelchair I use. It was a really exciting explorative conversation about the potential of joining their team. Sunrise has such a great message and has treated me so well I really would love to be a part of that.

Also, the order for my new Spinergy LX wheels was submitted and I’m looking forward to getting those babies slapped on my chair real soon. There will be a photoshoot for Sunrise after they’re installed. I told them yesterday that I’ll try to pull off a slick pose like a hand plant 🙂



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